ODYSSEUS PLUGGED the ears of his sailors with a healthy helping of beeswax, ordering that he remain bound to the mast while they rowed closer to shore. This was all done so that he alone could digest the song of the Sirens. Otherwise, he might bray contradictory orders in a weakened state, which would surely shipwreck his crew if followed. And so, reader, I ask the same of you. Make no mistake about it. The Mandela Effect is a bewitching siren, if ever I’ve heard one. Even now, as I write these words, I am inclined to gaze once more upon the Effect with a sense of prying curiosity and wonder, despite my escape to reason—wanting nothing further to do with it. No, I rebuke her sorcery. And yet my mind is junked. I have had a meeting with madness. I therefore invoke the strongest and bravest of men to tie me to the mast as I recall—or rather re-investigate for the reader—my former wrecking upon the rocks; imploring that you maintain our predesignated course into the perfectly preserved Word of God, no matter what is uttered, and row—row—row.
If you cannot agree to this, then turn the page now.
Bravo! You had me fooled, Fiona Broome. Can you hear my hands slow-clapping? Bravo! They’re slow clapping for you. Do you know how many times I’ve wanted to hold a Kit Kat bar over my head in the check-out aisle of the Piggly Wiggly and shout at the grocery clerk like a crazy mad man: “IT’S CHANGED AGAIN! IT’S CHANGED AGAIN!”
But that is the way with it—the Mandela Effect. I fell for it. Your witchcraft actually had me convinced that shared false memories really do exist; that realities are changing all around us; that it’s due to a so-called glitch in the matrix; that the glitch in question points to Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger’s cat and the tiresome ramblings of a multiverse resulting from his slaphappy thought experiment, and to the simulation theory deception, and all that dribbles from the fairy-tale tinkerers in quantum mechanics. You had me believing that Nelson Mandela died in prison, Fiona Broome—but that he didn’t die at all, according to this present reality. You had me believing that and so much more. You had my mind rewired to recall long forgotten childhood memories—seemingly real memories—whereas the Berenstain Bears were really spelled the Berenstein Bears. And here in the check-out aisle of the Piggly Wiggly you had me believing that Kit Kat, as the spelling of candy bar logos go, might flip back and forth between Kit Kat, without a dash, and Kit-Kat with a dash—all in real time and in a maddening game of sanity ping pong.
Of course, had I informed the grocery clerk to the truth of the matter, that reality had indeed changed from a dash to no dash and that we were all living within an alternate reality or time traveling paradox—albeit from CERN or super quantum computers—she’d only look at me with a crooked face and say something to the effect: “So what? A candy company can change their logo from a dash to no dash if they want to.”
Would I…could I have looked at her with the wide eyes of a completely sane person and responded: “AH-HA! That’s where YOU ARE WRONG! It’s because this is yet another example of the MANDELA EFFECT, and it’s very R-EEEEE-AAAAA-L!”
And that’s just the thing. The magic behind it was so authentic. I’d stand in the check-out aisle of the Piggly Wiggly and see Kit-Kat spelled with a dash, when in fact the week before it was spelled without a dash. This I was certain of. My own eyes certified the line-up. And what would the all-knowing wisdom of Google tell me—soon as I returned home? That it’s always been spelled with a dash. Of course, there would be some person in a chat room asking the same question: Did anyone see Kit Kat become Kit-Kat again?—in which dozens, perhaps even hundreds of other spellbound contributors—including myself, would be like, “Um, yeah, it happened for me too, and I just let the grocery clerk in on it.”
THIS ALL happened during the summer of 2016. JFK’s 1961 Lincoln Continental limousine, which he rode through Dallas on that cruel November day, formerly had two bench seats by my count—now suddenly had three. There was that to contend with and the Smithsonian Institute becoming the Smithsonian Institution and now the Ron Howard movie, Apollo 13. I was fourteen with its original release—when Tom Hanks spoke his famous line. Repeating it was a regurgitated teenage joke, given the right circumstance in or out of the classroom, and could garnish a dozen laughs. But in my Mandela Effect summer Tom Hanks no longer spoke his landmark line as I’d so long remembered: “Houston, we have a problem.”
According to every VHS tape, digital copy, and even AFI’s 100 Greatest Film Quotes—anything in existence, Tom Hanks now said: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”
Thousands of others affected by the Mandela Effect agreed. The line, though arguably a small offense—had changed. And this is where it really begins to get strange. See, in the actual Apollo 13 mission, astronaut Jack Swigert told NASA control: “Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here”—in which Jim Lovell, played by Hanks in the movie, added: “Uh, Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Their argument was—the Mandela Effect deniers and detractors, that is—since Jim Lovell always said, “we’ve had,” then the movie naturally would have followed suite, and therefore all of our memories were clearly wrong. But this is the strange part. I woke up one morning—this being the summer of 2016—with the news from ME observers that Howard’s Apollo 13 had been diagnosed with a case of the Ping Pong. Once again, Tom Hanks clearly quoted the line as we all remembered it.
“Houston, we have a problem.”
This goes for every known digital and hard copy of the film, including VHS, the American Film Institute, and practically all online discussions regarding the previous changes. The Mandela Effect decided it liked the original line best. Evidence erased. And do you know what the detractors had to say about it? “Oh, you crazies are just confusing ‘we have’ and ‘we’ve had’ with the actual Apollo 13 space mission. In the movie, Tom Hanks never said that.”
The Mandela Effect was madness.
Funny thing is, I watched Kit Kat ping-pong back and forth between a dash and without its dash so often and for so long that I could no longer recall, in the wreckage of my mind, whether it originally had a dash or no dash at all.
SHAME ON YOU, Fiona Boome, shame on you, witch. Be gone! You and your disciples had me thoroughly convinced that God’s Word had changed. In Isaiah 11:6, the lion once lay with the lamb, but now—because of CERN, apparently—the wolf dwelt with the lamb. But worse—in my delusional mind, I tried to convince Christians of it. By enacting the spell upon others, I played the part of the demon. That’s the point of the Effect, isn’t it? That God’s Word was written by men and is therefore prone to error. All Mandela Effects ultimately point to Holy Writ. There are dozens, no—hundreds of Mandela Effect changes to the Bible, aren’t there Broome? Your demon-disciples continue with their diggings.
Lord forgive me for my maladjustment. I had succumbed to the entrapping’s of humanism by turning against the only lamp which might guide my feet through the darkness (Psalm 119:105). As an advocate of the Mandela Effect, I claimed to know better than God Almighty. Jesus Himself prophesied of His Word: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away (Mark 13:31)” Our Master also said: “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle (or small mark in Hebrew lettering) of the law to fail.” By gazing into the Mandela Effect, I was calling my Master Shepherd a liar.
Take this as a warning, dear reader, and I pray that you continue rowing on course (for the tug of the Siren song is, as I write these words, undeniably strong)—the Mandela Effect was and still is a damnable abyss. It is the sort of landscape where shadows curve against the natural angles of the sun and claw as a sinus in the back of one’s skull. I myself gazed into it—the abyss, that is. And the abyss had eyes—in fact, many. One might say the Mandela Effect was conscious of its existence, because for the first time in my life, the darkness gazed back.
Its evil became incarnate.
Dare I describe it? Cosmetically he was an alien gray—my nighttime visitor—standing about four feet high. I know… I know… Despite the aura of reprobate dripping from his black-as-death eyes—malice, hatred, jealousy, and covetous rage—nothing about his physicality spoke of emotion. Actually, he seemed incapable of moving his lips to speak, though what message he had (and he most certainly had one—though I dare not repeat it) was spoken as the Occultists would have it—telepathically.
For all of his rabbit-hat tricks, I find it particularly interesting—now as well as then—that this demonic entity was never allowed entry into our house, despite my sleep paralysis. The Spirit of the Lord protects his servants. Rather, he stood by the dock behind our home, glimmering under the pale light of the moon, looking up through our warmly lit windows. That’s where I saw him, down alongside the water. It’s where he spoke to me—where he made his presence known.
As the nights progressed I would lie in bed feeling what was determined to come inside. I’d have these vivid dreams where one of my toddler twin sons carried a voodoo doll fashioned in the likeness of the very demon inhabiting the night, just beyond the window. And then I’d awaken in reality to the violent blood-curdling screams of my son in the other room. I’d rush upon him to cradle his quivering body and pray. The demon was taunting me. And though the crying would soon refrain, no quick prayer would dispel this spirit for long. He or it was persistent, tag-teaming tactics between haunting me and then tormenting my son. Rinse and repeat. Only Jesus had the power to remove him.
Meanwhile, back at the Piggly Wiggly again, one of my twin sons pointed towards a box of Froot Loops. So I threw the box of Froot Loops in the grocery cart, remembering when Froot Loops was spelled Fruit Loops—and before that, when it was Froot Loops—and still before that, in a maddening game of paradoxical ping pong, when it was Fruit Loops again. Should I have also let the grocery clerk in on the fact that Febreze was spelled Febreeze—with a second “e,” and Chick-Fil-A was once Chic-Fil-A, without the “K?” Perhaps she was not the eternally gullible child, and the far more likely scenario is that it was I who had been implanted—and willingly—with the power of suggestion.
But far more importantly, the Mandela Effect had pressed its eyes upon me. That is the reality behind it. Necromancy. By admitting my guilt as a practitioner in Broome’s divination, I invited the alien gray into my life—into the life of my family. Shame on me—shame—shame—for asking others to do the same.
HOW IRONIC is it that a movie based upon time travel would become the mugging victim of an alternate reality or paradox prank? In Back to the Future, the Libyan terrorists who guns down Doc Brown at the Twin Pines Mall didn’t always do so in a VW Bus. No, if my memory suffices—at one time I was certain of it—they chased Marty McFly’s DeLorean in a 1984 Toyota Van.
Perhaps no other movie alteration bothered me with more teeth grinding severity than Roger Moore’s take as James Bond in Moonraker. This particular film came out in 1978 as a response to the success of Star Wars, and if you’ll recall the notable villain wasn’t one-time bad guy Hugo Drax, but the repeat performance from a guy named Jaws. You know, Jaws—the 7-foot tall strongman with metal teeth that could clamp through electrified rebar or chew on broken glass for cereal. If so, then you’ll likely also recall the most memorable moment in the entire film, when Jaws met a buxom blond named Dolly and the two fell instantly in love. What makes their meeting so memorable is the chain of events. Mainly, Jaws smiles down upon Dolly with those gruesome metal teeth of his. Rather than feeling frightened, Dolly smiles back. Only she too is wearing braces—I mean pearly whites. Wait, huh? Didn’t Dolly smile back at Jaws with braces? No, apparently not.
There is no shortage of Mandela Effects. Yet I won’t recall them all, and for your sake, I pray that you’ve continued rowing as you ought. I have written about dozens of Effects in my recent past, but they are removed from public observance (as wax in the ears for the ill-prepared and weak-minded), and at the Lord’s prompting. It is a relief. Not too long ago I was in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, wholly convicted as to my willing participation in Broome’s devilry. I was pumping diesel into my truck, and pulling my wallet from my pants pocket I noticed something new in the realm of peculiar. The VISA logo was not as I’d once remembered it. Indeed, as the internet would confirm, I had stumbled upon another Mandela Effect. It was the last Mandela Effect of which I’d ever commit myself to writing about—because you know what thought came to mind?
So what if it’s changed?
Jesus Christ once asked concerning a Roman coin:
“Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him, and went their way (Matthew 22:20-22).”
This world is Caesar’s. Perhaps more specifically, Caesar’s throne is Satan’s, and all that denies or supplements God’s goodness is his. VISA belongs to Satan. Star Wars, Back to the Future, James Bond, let us throw Kit Kat and Froot Loops into the recipe, and dare I say the Berenstain Bears—they all belong to Satan. In slightly better terms, they are under his management. He may press his thumb upon his kingdoms merchandise and do to them as he pleases, should God grant him the know-how and abracadabra. Tied presently to the mast, I confess to having heard things—indeed, relished in things—which I ought not. My mind, once shipwrecked upon the rocks, is confused. That is the cold, logistical reality behind the spirit of deception. It is so very convincing. But this I know for certain, duplicity or no duplicity, he cannot have the Bible.
Neither can you, Fiona Broome.
Thank God, there is no such incantation. The Gospel must first be preached to all nations (Mark 13:10), and for this cause, it must be preserved. Heaven and Earth will pass, but God’s Word is eternal. Despite all your seductions, your nagging questions, your promises of enlightenment—I’ve shut that door. Be gone! There is a spiritual battle for the mind and the soul just waiting on the other side for the gullible saint, and you cannot have either one of them. To you, Broome, I invoke the name of Jesus Christ, and cast your demons from the room.